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Could the new Bing Maps leave Google Maps eating dust?

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Bing Maps

Microsoft is rolling out a major new Bing Maps upgrade as it seeks to reel in Google’s gigantic lead in the sector.

The new ‘preview version,’ which is available today, brings a ton of new features that appear to give Redmond’s online offering parity with Google Maps and perhaps even better it in many ways.

The main addition appears to be the 'results cards' that appear when searching for a location within Bing Maps. They feature opening hours, contact information, directions, nearby attractions like hotels and restaurants, photos, a description and reviews from sites like Trip Advisor.

Better still, users will be able to stack multiple cards from previous searches, making it easy to plan a day around town or a night on the tiles. This will be particularly handy if you’re looking for somewhere to eat after visiting a tourist attraction, for example.

Clicking on a restaurant allows you to view the menu, read Yelp reviews and even make a reservation there and then through OpenTable.com integration.

Each type of activity is colour coded both on the Map face and in the left-sided information cards too.

Beyond the new results cards, it’s now say to interact with the map face too. Just right click on a location in order to get directions, save it to favourites or even view the streetside photography, which Microsoft also claimed to have improved.

Elsewhere, Bing Maps now now features ‘predictive routing’ to help drivers avoid traffic. Inputting the time of day you wish to travel will alert you to congestion and will suggest faster routes. There’s also a new Along the Route tool which will showcase hotels, restaurants and gas stations that feature along your planned journey.

In the news: Uber purchases mapping technology from Microsoft

Finally, Microsoft has added the ability to share travel plans with others view an email that’ll show a set of results cards, while users will be able to save their destinations to ‘My Places.’

The desktop version is available to preview today, while the Bing Maps mobile app is also due for an overhaul in the near future, Microsoft hints.

Dead Words

July 6, 2015, 9:01 pm

Fantastic job by Microsoft. I'm a huge fan of Bing. Although it's not on par with Google on features yet, I much prefer the layout. Microsoft needs to really push their search engine and add more features, because I think it could catch up to Google (maybe not surpass it, but at least get close to it).

PGrGr

July 7, 2015, 7:49 am

I've been thinking for a while now that the desktop version of Google Maps seems to have stagnated, or even gotten worse recently. For example, since the new version was rolled out, its almost impossible to print a specific area.

I'm a big fan of the mobile version including as it does turn by turn navigation with lane guidance, but I'm pleased MS have upped the game. Google could do with a bit of competition and a bit less complacency.

Tom

July 7, 2015, 8:41 am

Agree, I think recently with things like Windows 10, Holo Lens, Xbox One announcements at E3 and now this that Microsoft really are turning a corner and making up serious ground they had lost on their competition.

LeeTronix

July 7, 2015, 11:31 am

I prefer Bing to google any day, its a far better engine and the maps are fantastic. Any improvements is going to be superb. Nice to see MSFT bouncing back especially if it means the masses don't have to rely on greedy ad popping google rubbish.

Dead Words

July 7, 2015, 1:35 pm

This is a new Microsoft under Nadella. An entirely different beast than the Windows 8.1 Microsoft.

Wuffer

July 8, 2015, 6:10 am

Nice to see MS upping their game. For me Bing is still rubish. It never really finds what I'm looking for, but I know a lot of people like it. Wil give Maps a run-through.

Richard Walker

July 15, 2015, 5:03 pm

Question: "Could the new Bing Maps leave Google Maps eating dust?"

Answer: "They just sold their mapping division. So the answer is ... no ... "

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